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Susan Garwick Slagle’s earliest memory of sewing dates back to when she was a little girl. That’s when the resident of Holmes County, Ohio learned to use a treadle to put rags together for her grandmother, who then used them to braid rugs.

Over the course of her life, Slagle has humbly considered sewing one of her gifts, and she spent a significant part of her career as a seamstress.

Today, from her home in rural Ohio, she sews suits for plain Brethren folk, but instead of accepting payment simply asks her customers to make a donation to MDS.

She’s been supporting MDS this way for 12 years, some years sewing a dozen suits, some years only one.

Although known as “plain” suits, in fact they are anything but plain, said Slagle.

“They’re really smart suits!” she said. “I just tell my customers, whatever you feel driven to give, write the check to MDS.”

Slagle usually spends a week working on a suit, based off a custom pattern provided by the customer or someone in his community. “The patterns are marvelous,” she said.

Because she has served as an MDS volunteer herself, she often pictures the kinds of supplies her donations might provide for disaster survivor’s home.

“A suit will buy some studs. A suit will buy some drywall,” she said. “My little contribution might just buy some tar paper and shingles.”

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